You are currently viewing Higher Level Wife – 075 – Forgetting Oneself

Higher Level Wife – 075 – Forgetting Oneself

Chapter 75: Forgetting Oneself

Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Pill Bug

 

As soon as Jin Ming was done speaking, the door suddenly opened. Jin Fengju was standing in the doorway, frowning at him. “What are you doing? If you have something to say, just shout from outside. What’s this about having others pass messages for you? What’s the message anyway? What does my brother-in-law want?”

Jin Ming hastily bowed and smiled ingratiatingly at Jin Fengju, “Aiyo, Master. As you have heard, it’s really nothing much. A few pots of rare chrysanthemum plants have been sent from Prince Rong’s palace. Additionally, the prince has invited you to partake in a banquet at his place.”

Jin Fengju nodded, “Very well, I understand.”

He was about to return to the room again when he noticed Aunt Yu, Yu Jie and the children loitering at the door. He said, “Why have you come out from the study? Are you done with your reading? If you’re done, go practise your calligraphy with 20 large characters. I still have some matters to discuss with your mother.”

Aunt Yu and Yu Jie reluctantly received the order. [1]

Jin Fengju turned to Jin Ming once more, “That’s right, you say His Highness sent over a few pots of rare chrysanthemums? Have they all been distributed?”

Jin Ming smiled, “Not yet, Madam has given one pot each to Old Madam, Elder Madam and Second Elder Madam. She said to wait for Master’s orders before distributing the rest.”

Jin Fengju muttered to himself for a moment before saying, “Bring one pot to Night Breeze Pavilion. As for the rest, have Wanying decide how to distribute them.”

Jin Ming received the order and rushed off. Jin Fengju was finally able to retreat into the room. He found Fu Qiuning in the middle wrapping a scarf around her head, eschewing all sparkling hair pins and other accessories in favour of plain cloth. When she saw him re-enter the room, she said, “Still haven’t left yet? Weren’t you about to leave for Prince Rong’s palace?”

Jin Fengju sneered, “I have never seen someone like you who so eagerly [2] ‘Destroy bridges after crossing a river’, or [3] ‘Killing the donkey after reaching one’s destination’. Oh, wait, you haven’t even crossed the river or reached your destination yet, but are already in a hurry to destroy bridges and kill donkeys. How docile you were when you begged me to keep your secret. In a blink of an eye, you turned to me with a ‘Still haven’t left yet’? Surely you change your face too quickly?”

Fu Qiuning ignored the short sharp mocking laughter as she stood and faced him, “What’s this about destroying bridges after crossing a river? Didn’t I hear that Prince Rong has invited you to his palace? Have I heard wrong?”

Jin Fengju strode over to sit on the edge of the kang bed. He flopped onto his back sulkily, “The banquet only starts at night, it is only mid-morning now. I won’t be late even if I start going there in the evening. There’s nothing to do but entertain those dignitaries whose only ability is flattery. Aside from those skilled in flattery, there were few with notable talents among that bunch.”

He complained for a long time, but heard nothing from Fu Qiuning. Therefore, he sat up and saw the other party was sitting before the mirror, deep in thought. Though her hair was simply wrapped up in blue silk, with not a single accessory in sight, there was a pureness and clarity to her looks that evoked the words ‘carved from nature, and adorned with clear waters and hibiscus flowers’.

“Why aren’t you speaking? Do you find me boring? Why do I have to go to the palace again? I have no choice, brother-in-law is that kind of person. If I don’t accompany him for a drink or two and exchange a few poems, he would feel that he has lost face. I have to go and socialise,” Jin Fengju felt compelled to explain.

However, when Fu Qiuning turned around, her expression was indifferent. Her tone was mild as she said, “Lord Husband, no matter what, these are not words that could ever be uttered by me. I am merely a woman, what do I know? Only, since you have given me a promise and swear to protect me for life, this humble woman’s life is bound with yours forever. Therefore, doubt roiled in my heart and I wonder if I should speak it.”

“Speak,” Jin Fengju waved a careless hand at her. “It’s just some small talk, naturally, I shall know to deal with matters as I see fit.”

Fu Qiuning smiled and said, “That you have spoken thus, my heart feels at ease. In fact, it is really nothing. I am merely pondering, perhaps His Highness’ mind is yet unclear. Before, Prince Rong was suppressed and Prince Hong was raised. However, now we see Prince Hong suppressed and Prince Rong, as well as Prince Lie, risen by His Majesty. The so-called Heaven’s Will is unpredictable. This humble woman felt that Prince Rong ought to exercise more restraint. Otherwise, the sin of forgetting oneself could lead one down the path where joy turns to sorrow.”

Jin Fengju had been wearing an indulgent smile when she began voicing her doubts. However, he looked very solemn now. He studied the woman before him and noticed that Fu Qiuning appeared uneasy to be the target of such deep scrutiny. He smiled slightly and stood up, “It’s fine, I have stayed long enough. I should pay my greetings to the Old Ancestor.”

With that, he stepped outside, Fu Qiuning hurrying from behind to send him off.

However, when Jin Fengju reached the door, he suddenly stopped. He turned to Fu Qiuning and said in a soft voice, “Qiuning, one day your father may regret marrying you off to me. If that happens, and he wants to take you back, what would you do?”

For a moment, Fu Qiuning was stunned. A complicated expression crossed her face: What is this question? Are you testing my resolve? [1]

Pulling a serious expression, she said, “What is the Young Marquis speaking about? Though we are not husband and wife in reality, we are still husband and wife in name. As the saying goes, ‘A Woman Follows Her Husband in Death and Does Not Marry a Second Time’. Naturally, I shall abide by this women’s law as well. What’s more, I have already married out, so long as the Young Marquis does not give consent, surely even my father would not dare to disgrace his own face like that?”

Jin Fengju smiled. However, his eyes were still sharp as he said, “Are you saying you are happy with this kind of widow-like life? If your father promises to find a better home for you if you return to him, will you not be touched at all?”

“What is the matter with the Young Marquis today? Your questions are a little strange.” Fu Qiuning was really confused. However, she answered sincerely, “No matter what supposed good family awaits me, I only know that Young Marquis is the first person who had solemnly sworn to protect me for life. Why should Qiuning ask for anything beyond a peaceful life? As for my father and grandfather, back then, they were the ones who sent me over to humiliate you.

They did not possess even half a regard for my life or death. One could say that I have not a single shred of affection for them. Since they do not possess the righteousness of fathers, and Qiuning had already married out, where would I find the energy to uncover enough filial piety to obey their orders? Is that not so, Young Marquis?”

Jin Fengju’s eyes brightened. His eyes were very brilliant as he thought for a long time before nodding seriously. “When it is time to decide, you are decisive. Since you are ruthless, I shall be pitiless. Good, as expected of the wife of Jin Fengju.” With that final remark, he laughed out loud and finally strode off.

“What the heck, so shameless. It’s not like you chose me as your wife, nor are we truly man and wife,” Fu Qiuning’s lips curled as she looked at Jin Fengju’s tall straight back. She covered her mouth and laughed quietly to herself, “Had I not just say ‘do not forget oneself’? You have given me a clear example of why this saying exists. I suppose you do not know that we modern people have an accompanying saying: ‘Those who left with a smile will return on a stretcher’ [5]. Young Marquis, you should be careful and not celebrate too early lest you be plunged into misery, ah. I am still waiting for you to be my protective charm.”

As though in answer to Fu Qiuning’s prediction, Jin Fengju left with laughter and suffered later. The difference was, he was not brought back on a stretcher. In fact, he did not return at all.

 

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“How do you explain this? His Highness is one thing since that fellow must have been brewed out of a wine jar, but why is the Young Marquis drunk to this point? Why had none of you dissuaded him from drinking? All of you had better watch your skin, if I catch any of you in the wrong, I shall tan your worthless hide.” [1]

Within Prince Rong’s palace, the graceful and noble princess was in the middle of removing her makeup when someone brought report that the people in the side hall were all drunk and begged her for instructions.

While the princess continued to scold them, each of the servants kept quiet, afraid to invite her wrath upon their heads. Only the steward was brave enough to stiffen his scalp and step forward to say, “The Young Marquis is generally very measured with his drinking, today, however… this lowly one noticed that for some reason, the Young Marquis appeared very happy. Usually, he would be the one to dissuade His Highness, but this time, His Highness was the one who tried to dissuade him. In the end… in the end, even His Highness was caught up with the Young Marquis’ pace and hence… We beg the princess to advise. What should we do now, ah? They still have to attend court tomorrow morning.”

“What can we do? Escort His Highness and the Young Marquis to the study. Make two bowls of sobering soup. Also, have them keep a Sobering Stone [6] in their mouths. Do not allow them to remove the stones until they have sobered up. If they appeared before the emperor in their state, won’t they just invite His Majesty’s scolding?” [1]

The princess looked very angry. She turned to one of the servants, “And you, send word to the Jin Marquisate, inform the Second Madam that the Young Marquis is drunk and being kept here by me. Have her prepare his court clothes and bring them over. He can leave for court from my place. Be sure not to let the Second Madam worry.” [1]

When she was done speaking, she swept furious eyes over the stumbling guests. Although she was still very angry, she had no idea which of Prince Rong’s guests was an important figure and dared not neglect any of them. Finally, she gave the order for the servants to escort the guests into hastily prepared rooms and have maids look after them. After rushing about for a while, everything was finally arranged.

 

The next morning, it was not yet dawn when Jin Fengju woke up. He spat out the sobering stone and rolled out of bed. He stretched luxuriously and the movements alerted the maid who was keeping watch outside. She hurried over to say, “Young Marquis has awakened? Please wait, I shall have washing water brought over. After washing up, Her Highness said she wished for you to call on her.”

Jin Fengju acknowledged this. Not long after that, someone brought a golden basin of water, a square towel, soap and other grooming items. After washing his face and combing his hair, the princess came in. Seeing this much-beloved little brother of hers, the scoldings and reprimands she had prepared all disappeared. [1]

She sat down with a huff. “Just look at yourself. Here I have always praised you for having a steady temperament. When your brother-in-law is in a mood, you are to dissuade him. You have always done so, but what happened last night? You were even drunker than your brother-in-law, I really had no choice but to keep you over for a night. Who knows how Wanying would complain to me this time.”

Jin Fengju smiled, “I was too happy yesterday and forgot myself. I had unexpectedly gotten carried away. Fortunately, Elder Sister made me hold the sobering stone, otherwise, I really do not know what would happen. At the very least, it would be very shameful.”

Jin Yanqiu nodded. Then, she smiled and said, “The steward did say you looked unusually happy yesterday. What happened? What is it that made you this happy? Little brother, you have always been a very steady and indifferent person. When you were little, even elder sister rarely saw you forget yourself. What’s this wonderful thing that made you so happy?”

Jin Fengju chuckled. He approached the princess and said in a low voice, “Sister, have you heard of jade stones? The outer appearance of the stone is similar to ordinary rocks. When picked up by those who did not know of the value hidden within, they treated it like garbage or just discarded it on the wayside, leaving it to gather dust. It is only after it had been tormented by rain and wind or until it met an intelligent man with a discerning eye that its true value would be exposed.”

 

[Gumihou: … I guess this idiot thinks he’s the ‘man with a discerning eye’? Who else wants to kick his arse? I want to kick his arse]

 

[1] Some minor sentence adjustments for better flow.

[2] Destroying bridges after crossing a river – similar idiom ‘burning bridges’

[3] Killing the donkey after reaching one’s destination – similar idiom as ‘cutting losses’

[4] Timeline issue – he said ‘the banquet only starts at night,

[5] Those who left with a smile will return on a stretcher– presumably, ‘Those who thought they have won would be the first to die or suffer grievous injuries

[6] Sobering Stones – according to baike it’s a special marble from Yunnan that could presumably sober you up after a night of drinking.

Lol

https://www.baike.com/wikiid/8058443465055576534?prd=mobile&view_id=2430tzawf8e800

Pill Bug: Pseudo-medicine!

 

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Bloom

    He really thinks he’s the one who found the pearl, god I want to strangle him

    1. Gumihou

      I was so disgusted it took me three tries to edit this chapter. The author tried reeeeally hard to make us like this man, but it’s all rainbow farts to me

  2. Eiri

    He has a discerning eye? he cast both his wife and children aside. He loves the fish eye and discarded the pearl. But he expects the pearl to be grateful and bow down to do his bidding.

    so disgusting.

    1. Gumihou

      He expects the pearl to shine and blush at his presence and threw itself at him.

  3. Reader

    Darn, I was hoping he would choke on the sobering stone.

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